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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Food Guide > April 2019 > WHEN EVERYTHING HURTS…


How to manage fibromyalgia

This chronic long-term condition, which causes pain all over the body, affects millions of people, yet it’s still poorly recognised and under-researched. Jo Waters investigates the strategies that may help relieve suffering

WHEN PRESENTER Kirsty Young announced she was taking a break from Desert Island Discs last summer because of her struggle with fibromyalgia, it brought the long-term but little understood condition into the spotlight. Lady Gaga is another highprofile fibro sufferer. The singer was so badly affected by the condition that she had to cancel the remainder of her world tour last year. The actor Morgan Freeman has also spoken publicly about coping with fibromyalgia. Nobody knows exactly how many people in the UK may be affected, but a recent Parliamentary report estimated the figure to be between 1.5 and 2 million (1 to 2% of the population), with women seven times as likely to be affected as men. It’s most likely to strike between the ages of 20 and 50. Symptoms include increased sensitivity to pain, plus fatigue, muscle stiffness, difficulty sleeping, cognitive and memory problems, headaches and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), as well as pins and needles, a burning sensation on the skin, leg cramps, restless legs, tingling and depression. Pain can be experienced all over the body or in specific areas, and these can change.

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About Healthy Food Guide

Want to cut your plastic consumption and get healthier, too? We’ve got 50 easy changes to help you do both. Prepare for the chocolate season with our dietitian’s tips and tweaks on enjoying Easter treats without dreading stepping on the scales. Plus expert advice and recipes from Dr Rupy Aujla on foods to beat dementia. And don’t miss our amazing vegan pavlova!